Street/Sidewalk Winter Plowing
Street Plowing and Salting
During winter months, city crews are on call 24/7 for the plowing and salting of streets. At night, public safety officers monitor road and weather conditions and inform the Public Works Department when roads become hazardous and crews are dispatched to clear snow.
Snow Plowing Priority Road Routes and Local Road Routes
The priority routes are considered our major streets. These routes are plowed and salted as necessary to minimize slippery road surface conditions. Local road routes include all remaining residential streets. These routes will be plowed after all priority routes have been cleaned. Local road routes are lightly salted, as needed, to control slippery conditions.
In the event of a significant snow accumulation on one-way and other narrow streets, the city posts temporary 'no parking' signs in advance of efforts to remove excess snow. Residents are asked to make every effort to remove vehicles from streets where these signs appear so personnel can plow, haul snow and keep the streets passable and accessible.
Download Winter Street Priority Map
How Can You Help Make Snow Plowing Easier?
As snow begins to accumulate, residents are asked to park their vehicles in driveways so the plow trucks can clear the snow from curb to curb. This helps city crews keep East Grand Rapids streets clear of snow and ice. Private contractors may not leave snow plowed from driveways on the city's streets or sidewalks.
As a result of City Crews plowing the streets, snow undoubtedly, will build up in front of your driveway from clearing the roadway. Residents are responsible for the removal of this snow. Here is a tip to help minimize the amount of snow in the mouth of your driveway.
MailboxesOn occasion mailboxes can be damaged during snow removal. Please click here to see the City mailbox replacement policy
The City attempts, at least once a winter season depending upon snowfall, to clear all hydrants. We would like to request and encourage residents with fire hydrants in their yards to help maintain access to the hydrants by shoveling them out periodically. This will provide quicker access in case of a fire.
Snow Removal by Private Contractors
To report a contractor for depositing snow in the roadway or plowing snow across the street the City needs the Company Name, plate number, and where the violation occurred (address). Call 616-949-7010 to report violations.
City sidewalks are plowed after a snow accumulation of three inches or more, and only after all priority street routes have been cleaned. Sidewalk safety routes to school are cleaned as needed to ensure sidewalks are clear prior to the start of school.
Sidewalk plows have rubber attached to the bottom of the plow blade to reduce the risk of damage of sidewalk, equipment and for the safety of the plow operators. Sidewalk plows can leave approximately an inch of snow after they have passed through. It is important for residents/property owners to clear the small amount of remaining snow that is not removed from sidewalks, it is subject to thaw/freeze cycles that can result in icy conditions.
Salt is not used on sidewalks because it can damage/spall the sidewalk, is harmful to the environment and is cost prohibitive. The City uses small amounts of non-salt snow melt products at school crosswalks after snow events to improve safety at school crossing routes.
City Ordinance Excerpt:
Chapter 42 - Sidewalks
Section 4.45 - Winter Maintenance
"The City provides snow plowing service for City sidewalks. The level of service is limited to what can be provided by mechanical equipment. Due to these limitations, sidewalks may not be cleared or maintained to a dry pavement standard. Warming temperatures between plowing operations may result in a layer of compacted snow or ice on the sidewalk surface. Ice control is not provided by the City. In the event that the City is not able to provide snow plowing service for any reason, including equipment failures or employee shortages, the City Manager or designee may require property owners adjacent to sidewalks to clear and maintain the sidewalk until such time the City can restore service."
For more information on sidewalk winter maintenance and operations, click here.
Download Winter Sidewalk Priority Map
If you have questions or concerns about street or sidewalk plowing, contact the Public Works Department at 616-940-4870